Influence of gas compression on flame acceleration in the early stage of burning in tubes

Damir M. Valiev, V'yacheslav Akkerman, Mikhail Kuznetsov, Lars Erik Eriksson, Chung King Law, Vitaly Bychkov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The mechanism of finger flame acceleration at the early stage of burning in tubes was studied experimentally by Clanet and Searby [Combust. Flame 105 (1996) 225] for slow propane-air flames, and elucidated analytically and computationally by Bychkov et al. [Combust. Flame 150 (2007) 263] in the limit of incompressible flow. We have now analytically, experimentally and computationally studied the finger flame acceleration for fast burning flames, when the gas compressibility assumes an important role. Specifically, we have first developed a theory through small Mach number expansion up to the first-order terms, demonstrating that gas compression reduces the acceleration rate and the maximum flame tip velocity, and thereby moderates the finger flame acceleration noticeably. This is an important quantitative correction to previous theoretical analysis. We have also conducted experiments for hydrogen-oxygen mixtures with considerable initial values of the Mach number, showing finger flame acceleration with the acceleration rate much smaller than those obtained previously for hydrocarbon flames. Furthermore, we have performed numerical simulations for a wide range of initial laminar flame velocities, with the results substantiating the experiments. It is shown that the theory is in good quantitative agreement with numerical simulations for small gas compression (small initial flame velocities). Similar to previous works, the numerical simulation shows that finger flame acceleration is followed by the formation of the " tulip" flame, which indicates termination of the early acceleration process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-111
Number of pages15
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Compressibility
  • Finger flames
  • Flame acceleration
  • Hydrogen-oxygen premixed flames
  • Tulip flames


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